The revelation is in the text itself, in the words that confront us there in all their strangeness, and not in a history or a personal biography or an event that we reconstruct by means of the text. The event of revelation is available to us only through the text of Scripture interpreted in the context of the church. It is through these words and no others that God intends to speak to us, and, when he does, we know that there is no other kind of inspiration than verbal inspiration. Far from implying any divinizing of the words of Scripture, verbal inspiration understood in its Biblical sense takes the words of the text with full seriousness as the words of real men, spoken or written in a concrete human situation, and yet at the same time words in which God ever afresh reveals himself to me. [*]
What do people think of this? Is it justified? What are the alternatives?
[*]James Smart, Interpretation of Scripture, 195-196; cited in Stephen B. Chapman, "Reclaiming Inspiration for the Bible," 200.